Home Property Finance & InvestmentMortgages London renters are potentially overpaying landlords by £9,000 a year

London renters are potentially overpaying landlords by £9,000 a year

by LLP Finance Reporter
12th Dec 23 1:28 pm

New data has found that London residents may be paying £9k more in rent each year than if they’d used another property comparison site.

The findings, from technology expert Andersen, analysed over 8,541 rental listings across major UK cities on three major property portals – Zoopla, Rightmove, and OnTheMarket – to identify differences in the number of properties available and the average monthly price.

The analysis found that the typical renter in London can pay up to £755 more for a similar property in the same parts of the city by using one site over another – which is equivalent to an extra £9,062 a year; and ranks second as the city with the biggest discrepancy.

The average price that renters in London will pay for a rental property right now is £4,582 –  but some residents may find they’re paying more for a very similar property if they went through the priciest provider.

London residents who are spending considerably more on their rent may be disheartened to hear that the city boasts much higher rates than the national average rent across major cities – with the average currently £1,682 (172% lower than London).

However, those planning to move to a new property before Christmas or in the New Year should ensure they shop around, especially given rising concerns around rental costs.

Shopping around is also key to ensuring all of your needs are met, as renters may also end up with a reduced selection if they use one provider over another. In fact, the data shows the average difference in the number of London listings between sites is 4.5%.

While fluctuations in the number of available properties are expected on property portals, it may see some renters opt for a pricier home than intended as they feel there’s a limited number to choose from – when switching to another site might have rectified the issue.

Coming ahead of London as the city that sees some renters overpaying due to using the ‘wrong’ provider is Leeds , with some residents paying up to £10k more a year.

The third city that would benefit the most from shopping around is Plymouth, as some residents may end up paying £6.5k more a year for a similar property – or £543 each month.

On the other end of the scale, the city that sees the most consistent rental charges across property providers is Glasgow, with a negligible £16.67 difference a month – or £200 a year.

Edinburgh is the city that sees the most consistency around the number of properties available at any given time, as there’s only a 2.9% difference between one site and another. Meanwhile, Bristol reports the highest difference with 34%.

The City of London remains the major city with the most expensive average rent, currently running £4,581 a month, while Sheffield boasts the cheapest at £955 – an 80% difference.

In addition to looking at the difference in provisions between sites, the study analysed the public perception of each provider on TrustPilot. Unsurprisingly, the most common complaint nationwide was that the homes listed were ‘too expensive’.

Speaking on the findings, Valentin Kuzmenko, VP of Sales at Andersen, said, “While property portals can be a helpful way to navigate the rental market without getting intimidated or confused, they are often biased in that they favour specific estate agents over others due to reciprocal contracts, and therefore don’t give a full picture of what’s available.

“Many sites may overlook niche providers and independent landlords that otherwise offer competitive prices and unique properties – and they’re often limited in the number of properties they can display at any one time, as they often prioritise those that are either in high-demand or that have recently been reduced in price at this time of year.

“Make sure to cross-reference multiple sites to ensure you’re getting the best deal. And if you do look further afield, always ensure you’re using trusted, well-established comparison sites when shopping to avoid falling victim to a scam.”

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